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Old 07-26-2011, 04:50 PM   #1 
phillyfarmgurl
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Is this tailbiting?

Housing

What size is your tank? 5 gallon

What temperature is your tank? 79-80* F

Does your tank have a filter? yes

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no

Is your tank heated? yes

What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Live plants

Food

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? NLS pellets, with live mosquito larvae and bllodworms on occasion

How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-3 soaked pellets twice a day, fasting every Sunday

Maintenance


How often do you perform a water change? 2 times a week

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% and 75%

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Just dechlorinator

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: >10 ppm

pH: 7.1

Hardness: n/a

Alkalinity: n/a

Symptoms and Treatment

How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His fins are starting to look shredded. They have a clear greyish edge on them.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? it has not, he is still eating well and swimming well with no problems

When did you start noticing the symptoms? yesterday

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No, I am not sure how

Does your fish have any history of being ill? Nope

How old is your fish (approximately)?Bought him a month ago.



I'm not sure if Corey is biting his fins or if he is beginning to rot. He is a double tail blue/turquoise male. I've tried re-arranging the plants and I have been flaring him for 5 minutes 4 times a week. I tried putting upside-down bottle caps on the water for him to push, with no luck. He does like to chase my fingers, lol. I'm thinking of adding a few more plants to his tank to give him a few more hiding places. He doesn't clamp his fins, and they aren't blackening...I'm wondering if he is biting due to boredom? I shall post pics as soon as I recharge the batteries for my camera :)

Oh, and I don't own Aq salt, can I use Sea salt instead? If not, I have Kosher salt.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:54 PM   #2 
Silverfang
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We'd really need a picture to determine if he has been tail biting. However since you mentioned the ends are turning greyish (blackish I'm assuming!) it sounds like it could be fin rot. There are two colours to look for on damaged fin tips, clearish/white or black/dark. The clear is a sign of new growth, while black usually means fin rot. With fin rot, or tail biting, you want to treat him with daily water changes.
Since he is in a filtered 5gal it might be easier to get a small container and treat him in that. Even a tupperware container floated in his big tank to help maintain his normal temperature is a good option. Daily water changes with 1 tsp /gal AQ salt is the standard treatment. Since you don't have AQ salt I refer you to the words of wisdom from OFL.
Quote:
"I use kosher salt, ice cream salt....generally Sodium chloride....you want to avoid salts with the anti-caking agents as these can be toxic to fish with long term use...the trace amount of Iodine in most table salts are not harmful its the anti-caking that is toxic......."
If you can post a picture we can help figure out if it's fin biting or something else, but this should help in the mean time. Also nutrition is very important, if you have any live or frozen foods, this will help alot. High protein food helps with the regrowth of damaged fins, also adding some stress coat I have found helpful when my own Scuzi chomps on his tail. Tannins from IAL or oak leaves can also help if you have access to them.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:58 PM   #3 
phillyfarmgurl
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Alrighty, Silverfang, I thank you. I now have Corey floating in a small critter keeper inside his tank. I added Kosher salt (1 T) into an empty gallon jug , along with dechlorinator, and have that in the QT tank...it holds about 1/2 gallon, is that too small for QT? Anyway, I have pictures :)











This is what he looked like when I brought him home:





/edit: Was also able to catch and feed him some live mosquito larvae, and man did he like that :)
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:34 PM   #4 
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No, half a gal is ok for a quarantine or treatment tank! Just remember the daily water changes. The salt can build up, and this is harmful. Premixing the water in a separate container is perfect!
The pictures aren't the clearest, but if he's like my boy he won't sit still for photos. I believe you do have a case of fin chewing going on. IF the ends look kinda feathery, that's a dead give away.
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=76008 This thread has some really good pictures of tail biting.
IT looks an awful lot like the bad pictures I took of my own boy after fin chewing. It also looks like he might have gotten at his bottom fin as well as both of his tails.
Right now you want to find out why he bit his tail. There are a few theories, one is boredom. Does he have plants (live, silk, any?) a hidey hole? a cave or mug or even just a colourful statue with a hole? OR has he been stressed out? Have you made any changes? new kind of food, or water conditioner, have you changed anything on the inside OR outside of the tank? Yes, some bettas can be spazzy enough that changing something outside of their tank can make them chew their tail.
The other question is does he have any neighbours? Another fish or betta he can see? Something that could be mistaken for a colourful betta? Does he flare at the sides of his tank much? Or is he quiet and sulky?
Alot of questions I know, but there are so many reasons. There is a third, which is truly the worst. He does it purposefully, as in he finds his fins to heavy, or he feels the need for a "trim" so to speak. There is another theory that they do it to remove rotting or infected fins, but I have no experience with that one.

PHEW! Sorry for the real book, after discovering my own boy having absolutely mangled his tail, and I knew it was stress induced and that it was him, I started to really read up on the condition. I was in tears after that first time, so I understand your concern.

Glad to hear about the live mosquitoes. I'm just too squeamish to go that far, besides, they would over run the backyard, and front yard, and uh, yea. Once you start to see new growth, this generally is clear or sort of whitish in colour it's probably safe to stop with the salt treatment. This can take 4-5 days, or it can take 2-3 weeks. Since you said the ends don't really look black, the salt is more a preventative measure, to stop infection and or fin rot. Sadly once they start biting, it can be a chronic condition.

OH! if you do believe it is boredom, I read someone having the idea of say a ping pong ball or bottle cap floating in his tank, it might give him something to play with, or at least take out some aggressions. I plan on trying this when I get home to my boy. As if the floating plant for a bed wasn't enough!
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:26 PM   #5 
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Yup, the ends are feathery. Thought he might be nibbling away. I'm wondering if it's either boredom or stress...or both.

His tank has live plants of different sizes: a short Java fern, medium sized wide leaf Anubis, and taller ones (those bulbs that come in the 5-pack). I'm going to get a couple more for him this weekend. He also has a small votive candleholder as a hidey-hole. I think I might get him another one.

The other reason I said it may be stress-induced is because I think I may have scared him...I have a nasty habit of turning my bedroom light on when I go in a night. I think that may have scared him, even though I only did it one time. (it was the morning after the incident I noticed the mangled fins, lol). I really need to stop that, lol.

As far as tankmates go, he has none- I didn't want to put too much in the tank since it is only 5 gallons. Do you think it would be ok to put in 1-2 feeder guppies? Not the fancies, of course.

Oh, and do you think I'm not flaring him enough? I'm only doing it about 5 minutes, 4ish times a week.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:29 PM   #6 
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It's possible, when it's stress induced biting, keeping any tank lights off for a few days is advised, then trying to keep either a natural day/night cycle for the lights, or have the lights off for longer periods.
In a 5 gal you can't really have any other fish with a betta. A snail or a few shrimp would be it. However shrimp often become snacks. And snails... I've heard they leave quite the mess of poo.
I don't think you're over flaring him, I usually don't remember to "exercise" my boy that often sadly. As for the plants, if you have any of the plants floating, especially the anubias, he'll love to nap in it. It's so cute when you see them dozing on the leaf. Try to get a pic and you might have well turned on an alarm clock!
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